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Urge (to Keep) Going

Urge for Going. By Mona Mansour. Directed by Hal Brooks. Through April 17, Public LAB, The Public Theater, New York, NY. Urge for Going, Mona Mansour’s new work in development, is a coming-of-age story built from the outside in. Her 90-minute play follows Jamila, a seventeen-year-old Palestinian preparing to take the ...  Read More »

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Essential Readings: Reading Pakistan

Here are the stripped down facts: Pakistan is roughly 165 million people. Most of us are young: 69 percent of the population is under age 30. And we’re poor. Almost a quarter of the people here live below the poverty line. As I write, the quarter-finals for the cricket world cup are underway. Pakistan’s ...  Read More »

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Roundup on the Goldstone Controversy

While the impact of Justice Goldstone’s op-ed on accountability and justice remains to be seen, one thing has already been made clear: his contentious and vague editorial has worked to place Israel’s Winter 2008/09 offensive back on center stage. Like Israel’s fatal attack on the Mavi Marmara in May 2010 that ...  Read More »

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In the Shadow of Words: Le Trio Joubran in Memoriam of Mahmoud Darwish

It is inevitable that a dancer watching a dance performance, a film-maker watching a film, a musician watching a concert will take notice of details and little tricks that are not available to most others. A skilful camera movement, a new interpretation of a well-known choreography, a note that is played with a new ...  Read More »

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At the Table: Sharif Waked's Khumus

Just outside a Palestinian restaurant, named “al-Bayt” in the recently recognized village of Ayn Hawd southeast of Haifa, a table and two chairs stand precariously balanced on a steep slope. From a distance it is a pretty scene that promises the serenity of a picnic. On closer look, there is deformity and fragility. ...  Read More »

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Essential Readings: Bahrain: Origins of a Crisis

This Essential Readings post is written by Sandy Russell Jones. [Editors' Note: This is the third in a series of "Essential Readings," in which we ask contributors to choose a list of must-read books, articles, and new media sources on a variety of topics. These are not meant to be comprehensive lists, but ...  Read More »

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Essential Readings: Counterinsurgency

This Essential Readings post is written by Laleh Khalili. [Editors' Note: This is the second in a series of "Essential Readings,"  in which we ask contributors to choose a list of must-read books, articles, and new media sources on a variety of topics. These are not meant to be comprehensive ...  Read More »

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"A Space Exodus": A Truly Palestinian Film

Larissa Sansour, A Space Exodus. Video (5' 29"). 2009. “Jerusalem, we have problem,” a woman’s voice says, as female fingers run over the controls of a space ship. “No . . . We are back on track,” she then mutters, breathing heavily; the only response from Jerusalem is a deafening silence. In a white spacesuit ...  Read More »

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Essential Reading: State Building and Regime Security in Jordan

[Editors’ Note: This is the first in a series of “Essential Readings,” in which we ask contributors to choose a list of must-read books, articles, and new media resources on a variety of topics. These are not meant to be comprehensive lists, but rather starting points for readers who want to read more about particular ...  Read More »

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Narrating the Past, Confronting the Present

The Kingdom of Women: Ein El Hilweh. Directed by Dahna Abourahme. Lebanon, 2010 Could I do today what I was able to do then, questions Nadia, one of the women in Dahna Abourahme’s latest documentary film The Kingdom of Women: Ein El Hilweh. Based on stories of the women of Ein El Hilweh, a Palestinian refugee camp in ...  Read More »

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Elia Suleiman's Time

The Time that Remains [Al-Zaman Al-Baqi]. Written and directed by Elia Suleiman. UK/Italy/Belgium/France, 2009. An early scene in The Time that Remains [Al-Zaman Al-Baqi], Elia Suleiman’s latest film, reveals a great deal. The scene begins with a shot of the harried-looking mayor of Nazareth banging open a door at ...  Read More »

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French Wildflowers and Algerian Gangsters: Humanism and Violence at the Movies

Des hommes et des dieux (Of Gods and Men). Written and directed by Xavier Beauvois. France, 2010. Hors la loi (Outside the Law). Written and directed by Rachid Bouchareb. Algeria/Belgium/France, 2010. Recently, two movies have offered Algeria a starring role at the post-colonial box-office. Des hommes et des dieux ...  Read More »

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What is a Sari Nusseibeh For?

Sari Nusseibeh, What is a Palestinian State Worth? Cambridge, MA: Harvard Belknap Press, 2011. Among Palestinians there may well be a more fundamental underlying cultural or religious disposition to believe in the reality of death so strongly as to view life as being on a par with death, or even of far less value. ...  Read More »

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And the Late Night Comedians Shall Lead Us

For those of you lucky readers who are able to access Al Jazeera or Al Arabiya on your televisions, you can stop reading now. This is for those of us, in the US, who either have to sleep with our laptops streaming the “real” news or who, for fear that our batteries may die, have to set our cell phone alarm clocks to ...  Read More »

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"ما خفي كان أعظم: عن "خائف إلى الأبد [Sayed Kashua - Forever Scared]

” إنني أخاف من السيارات، من الكلاب، من الأفاعي، أخاف من الطائرات، والمروحيات، من الدبابات والجنود. أخاف من العمليات الإرهابية. أخاف من اليهود، أخاف من العرب، واخاف أن يضعونا يوماً ما في مخيمات لللاجئين.“ (سيد قشوع، صحيفة هآرتس، 2002) بهذا الإقتباس يبدأ أول مشهد في الفيلم الوثائقي ”خائف إلى الأبد“ (2009) وهو من إخراج ...  Read More »

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The American Granddaughter (A Review)

Many Iraqis returned to their country after the American invasion in 2003 as members of the entourage that accompanied the invading army and helped it administer its occupation. Some of them were translators recruited by companies back in the US where they were living either as refugees, residents, or Iraqi-American ...  Read More »

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"It's Important to Remember Their Names:" Review of Midnight on the Mavi Marmara

Midnight on the Mavi Marmara: The Attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and How it Changed the Course of the Israel/Palestine Conflict. Edited by Moustafa Bayoumi. Chicago: Haymarket Books / New York: OR Books, 2010. First things first: Midnight on the Mavi Marmara is necessary reading. It also provides a strong ...  Read More »

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Zindeeq: Film Review

Zindeeq, directed by Michel Khleifi. Palestine/UK/Belgium/UAE, 2009. Michel Khleifi is the acclaimed Palestinian filmmaker, director and producer of such award winning films as Wedding in Galilee (1987) and Route 181 (2004). His films and work as professor at the Belgian Institut National Supérieur des Arts du ...  Read More »

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Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject

Saba Mahmood, Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005. Much of the implicit political background—the staging-point—of Saba Mahmood’s highly acclaimed ethnography of the women’s mosque movement in Egypt, Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the ...  Read More »

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American Innocence and Its Victims (Part 1)

[See Part 2 here]  We should be somewhat grateful, I suppose, that the New York Times Book Review dedicated its back-page essay to a review of the current edition of the literary journal Granta, a special issue devoted to Pakistan. After all, literature from Pakistan deserves a wider audience in the U.S., and in ...  Read More »

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Still at Sea: A Review of "Hope"

Hope, directed by Steve Thomas. Australia, 2007. In one of his late poems, the Iraqi poet Sargon Boulus (1944-2007) wrote of “A million refugees clinging to his footsteps.” This was not poetic hyperbole. Boulus was haunted by a visceral tragedy. The invasion and occupation of Iraq back in 2003 and the sectarian civil ...  Read More »

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Salaam Salim: A Review of The Oath

The Oath, directed by Laura Poitras. USA, 2010. The Oath by filmmaker Laura Poitras weaves a documentary account of the lives of two Yemeni men to offer a fresh perspective on the “war on terror.” The man you have probably heard of, Salim Hamdan, is conspicuously absent because it was shot while he was locked away in ...  Read More »

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Al-Tahir Wattar (1936-2010)

Al-Tahir Wattar, one of Algeria’s most influential writers died on the 13th of August, after a two-year battle with colonic cancer. He was a foundational figure in the Arabophone novel in Algeria and widely recognized and celebrated in the Arab world. Some of his ten novels were translated into ten ...  Read More »

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